9:30 am EDT - 10:30 am EDT

Past Event

Is Europe capable of defending itself?

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

9:30 am - 10:30 am EDT

Online Only

Since 2014, Europe’s security landscape has absorbed a series of shocks. Russia’s annexation of Crimea and destabilization of the Donbas, the migration crisis, a series of deadly terrorist attacks, and the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union were followed by Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States, leading Europeans to question America’s commitment to the NATO alliance. Then came Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

While Europe’s approach to security has been transformed by the war, its future remains deeply uncertain. How would Europe react if a reelected President Trump withdrew the United States from NATO? Are European militaries prepared to respond to territorial infringements, no longer an unimaginable scenario? Could Europe defend itself without America? Are its current military investments enough? Are new common defense structures needed? How will the outcome of the war in Ukraine reshape European security? What is Europe’s role in the Middle East?

On March 12, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings, together with the Centre for European Reform (CER) in London, convened a panel of experts to reflect on the past decade and uncertain future of European defense policy and draw lessons to safeguard the continent’s common security in the coming decade.

The panelists were alumni of the Clara Marina O’Donnell fellowship at CER, a six-month fellowship for early career foreign and security policy researchers which honors O’Donnell, a CER and Brookings expert on foreign and defense policy who died of cancer at the age of 30 in January 2014. Applications for the 2024-25 fellowship are now open. More information can be found here.

Viewers submitted questions via Twitter using #EuropeanDefense and by emailing [email protected].